The lush green surroundings, the view of the mountains, and the fresh serene air to breathe are some of the many amazing features of Nainital.
Located in Uttarakhand, India, the hill station is popularly known as the city of lakes.
Nainital offers the perfect holiday, for singles, couples, or families alike. But here’s a quick pro tip: if you are planning to visit Nainital anytime, save at least 2 days from your calendar.
I recently traveled to the place and eventually decided to give debut travelers a heads-up before they grab their backpacks.
Yes, there are already hundreds of blogs telling you what to do and what not to do while traveling to Nainital.
But that doesn’t stop me from offering suggestions to my readers from my personal experience.
So, here I go.
How to Travel to Nainital
Kathgodam Railway station is the nearest railway station to the place. It is situated around 34 km away from Nainital.
If you are one of those who love traveling by train, you can book a ticket to Kathgodam station and then hitch a local cab which will cost you at least 100-150 per person for a shared cab.
On the other hand, if you have a thing for Bus journeys, please check the availability online or locally beforehand.
Flight lovers should book their tickets to the Pantnagar airport. It is roughly 55 km from the hill station.
Best Places to visit in Nainital
Situated around 22 km away from Mall Road, Nainital, the Bhimtal Lake offers a pleasing view during the day.
You can spend some time here, boating and capturing the beauty of nature.
There is an aquarium island café situated at the heart of the lake. You can reach there via boat, which will cost you 100-200 per person.
You can have your meal in the café while enjoying the picturesque view.
Here comes another beautiful lake situated just 9 km away from the Bhimtal lake. If you want to spend some quality time away from all the chaos, this is the right place for you.
There are several water activities including boating available during the season. You can stroll around the lake, capturing the easy-on-the-eye view.
If you are visiting Naukuchiatal lake, this cafe is a must-visit. All the more important since it’s on the way.
It has both indoor and outdoor sitting. You should visit this café, if not for a meal, then definitely for some amazing pictures.
Naini lake is one of the most visited lakes in Nainital. It is located around 21 km from Bhimtal lake.
Surrounded by panoramic seven hills, it’s the favorite spot among travelers all over the world.
According to Hindu mythology, it’s said that the eye of goddess Parvati dropped into the lake while God Shiva was carrying her burnt body to the Kailash Parvat.
Also, the lake offers boating which is a must-do if you want to enjoy the weather and have quality time.
I preferred visiting this lake in the evening (around 5 pm) since in mountains, you will feel hot during the day, even in the winter season. However, it’s totally your choice.
Naina Devi Mandir
It is a small temple situated near Naini Lake. If you are visiting the lake, you can visit the temple afterward by simply walking for 5 mins.
There is also a small market just outside the temple with some local eateries and shops.
The Mall Road of Nainital, which runs just near Naini lake, is the prime shopping, food, and cultural center.
It gives you the option to shop while relishing the street food. You will find lots of restaurants, hotels, roadside food vendors, and woolen & candle stores on Mall road.
Tiffin Top (Dorothy’s Seat)
Tiffin Top is a famous viewpoint that offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Himalayas and Nainital. It’s located at Aryapatta Hill at an average elevation of 2292 meters above sea level.
It will take a horse ride or trekking to reach this location. If you want to trek, plan well in advance and wear footwear accordingly.
Comfortable shoes, a water bottle, and a hiking stick are must-haves if you are not a local. The way to the top is a bit slippery, so be extra cautious and avoid trekking at night.
If you go for a horse ride, it will charge you Rs. 820 per horse and will take around 30-45 mins to reach the top.
There are 3 spots, where you must pause and have a look around. Once you reach the peak, you can see the Himalayan range from there.
Moreover, the place also has a small shop, offering snacks & beverages. In the winter season, who doesn’t like having a hot tea with a mesmerizing view all around them?
So, go there and capture some happy moments in the lap of nature.
ECO cave gardens
This place offers a glimpse of Himalayan wildlife through several animal caves. It has around six caves, including the Tiger & Panther cave.
There is an entry fee of Rs 100.00 for an adult and it’s open till 5:30 PM. You can get into the cave slowly and get out from the other end. Remember to be cautious while getting out of the cave since it gets too narrow at the end.
I would suggest not letting your kids get into the caves since they can hurt themselves and adults should also be extra careful while in the cavern.
All the caves look similar, so if you get inside one cave, that’s enough. Afterward, you can roam around the garden and can also enjoy the mechanical bull ride.
One of the peaceful places in Uttarakhand, the Dol Ashram is located around 70 km from Mall road, Nainital.
It was established by Shri Parma Yogi Kalyandasji in 1990. The Ashram is built for yoga and meditation purposes and the atmosphere of the ashram makes it an ideal spot for practicing spiritual life.
The world’s largest Shri Yantra, weighing roughly 1.6 tonnes, was installed in a Sri Yantra Dhyana Peetham by the Dol ashram in April 2018.
This Sri Yantra is a spiritual cosmic energy center that promotes peace and prosperity. Dol Ashram also operates a Sanskrit Gurukulam for the children of poor families.
Furthermore, it provides food and lodging facilities to students & visitors. The Ashram offers fully furnished single- and double-bed rooms with hot water. An in-house mess with a capacity of 120 persons is available at the Ashram.
If you want to experience tranquility, this is a must-go place for you.
Since the Ashram closes at 6:30 pm, try visiting it last by 5 PM.
Kainchi Dham is a hanuman temple and ashram established by the great saint Neem Karoli, situated around 19 km away from Mall Road, Nainital.
It is located between two hills that cut & cross each other, which is why it is named Kainchi Dham This place offers a perfect combination of beauty & spirituality.
Steve Jobs & Mark Zuckerberg have also visited the temple. Though the ashram is accessible to everyone, it is only available with prior bookings.
You need to inform the manager by writing a letter to live at the ashram. During the stay at the ashram, following specific rules and regulations is mandatory.
That was it. Though Nainital has several other mesmerizing places to visit, these were the best ones I came across during my trip.
Keep your safety in mind while indulging in adventure activities, specifically if you are accompanied by kids.